Nothing in the fridge for dinner tonight? No time to shop then cook? Broadsheet has scoured the cafe and restaurant land for the best take-home meals you can get your hands on.
How many times have you gone through a fast food drive through on your way home from a road trip? The next time you're on the way home from the Macedon Ranges be sure to drive through Monsieur Pierre in Kyneton and pick up a country-style, ready-cooked meal that can be ordered ahead. The deli cabinet has a rotating selection of things including salt baked salmon, beef and vegetarian lasagne, red beef curry, vegetarian wellington with chestnuts and sage; and homemade beef and bacon pies.
143 Mollison Street, Kyneton
(03) 5422 1136
Lafayette Fine Foods
With an emphasis on seasonal and local produce, chef Susan McKay and her team prepare probably one of Melbourne's largest selections of slow-cooked take-home meals. Walk in to their cafe on News Street in Brighton and you'll immediately feel assured that you’re in good hands. This week they have rosemary crumbed new season’s lamb cutlets, chicken fricassee and handmade chorizo, chicken and seafood paella on the menu.
Albert Park Deli
Call Albert Park Deli on any day of the working week and they'll fax through their take-home meals of the day so you can be dreaming about dinner before you've even finished breakfast. We recommend the African lamb casserole and duck and wild mushroom pie. Hey, you could even buy a few, transfer to your favourite crock-pot and impress your friends by pretending it's your own dish, sneaky.
This list wouldn't be complete without a pizza option. No longer do Melburnians have to dial a big bad chain delivery service for a pizza. Get on the blower to Ladro and order yourself a thin, crisp-base pizza topped with the best local ingredients they can find. Popular pizza include; Pizza 4 Otto, Potato and Badabing.
Greek mums would have to be some of the best home cooks. Their sons follow suit if they’ve taught them right. In George Calombaris’ case this is true. His new venture with Shane Delia, St Katherine's in Kew, offers those who like to eat in the comfort of their own home a special take-away menu inspired by the kitchens of Greece, Lebanon and Turkey. Sorry no souvlakis.
Indulge in a little haute take-home food from Cafe Vue on St Kilda Road, where Shannon Bennett’s team prepares rotisserie chooks ($35), plus a selection of sides including pumpkin, feta, rocket and yuzu salad, pommes mousseline, and seasonal veggies.
401 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
(03) 9866 8055
Attached to the St Kilda’s Esplanade Hotel, Ichi Ni offers a selection of sushi, hand rolls, gyoza, Japanese salads and yaki on their short but stout take-away menu with nothing over $20.
Lawsons Grove Shop
Lining the back wall of this cosy basement cafe in South Yarra are large fridges containing pantry products and ready-made dishes to take home. Here you can pick up a thick portion of hand cut bacon, a litre of milk or take home curries, pies and lasagne.